Frequently Asked Questions
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Not consciously. I’ve always been a daydreamer, creating stories in my mind. Characters would come and go. I’d often write down snippets of different stories or conversations I heard in my head. Occasionally I’d even write a chapter or two, but that was all. One day I decided to challenge myself to see if I could write an entire book. It took me over a year, but to my surprise and delight, I finished it. From there, I was hooked.
Why do you write romance?
I've read and enjoyed various genres through the years, but kept coming back to romance. I love the optimism. Each book has its own journey and story, but in the end, I am assured there will be happiness. As the main characters develop through the pages, falling in love, making mistakes, sometimes going through horrific circumstances, they experience a self-discovery and often realize they're much stronger and capable than they thought. And despite everything they've gone through, there’s hope for the future because of their love for one another. I love closing a book with a smile on my face.
What would you say to a writer just starting out?
Learn as much as you can about the business of writing. Surround yourself with like-minded, positive people. Join a writing organization. If you write romance, I highly recommend Romance Writers of America. Develop friendships and associations with other writers so you can share your triumphs as well as your disappointments. Help other writers and allow them to help you. If you decide this is what you truly want to do, despite the disappointments and difficulties, then never give up. Perseverance is key. Keep on writing, keep on learning. The more you write, the more you'll learn.
How long did it take you to become traditionally published?
I finished my first book in 2002. I wrote four more manuscripts and received multiple rejections before selling my fourth manuscript to Ballantine in 2007.
Why did you choose to leave traditional publishing and go indie?
For various reasons. My publisher decided they didn’t want to buy more Last Chance Rescue books. They suggested a name change and a slightly different style of book. After writing two books in my Ella Grace Wildefire series, they declined to continue the series. Since I had readers who were asking for more Last Chance Rescue books and a third Wildefire book, I chose to self publish. I’m very fortunate that the majority of my readers have stuck with me, and I’ve gained new readers along the way. I may return to traditional publishing in the future, but for right now, I’m happy with indie publishing. I love the ability to choose my own covers, publishing dates, and what I want to write.
What books or authors have influenced your writing?
I honestly believe I’ve learned something from every book I've ever read. However, growing up, my favorite book was The Rolling Years by Agnes Sligh Turnbull. I think it was the first time I realized how powerful the written word could be. How it can move and influence you in ways you've never experienced. Even decades later, I still remember the incredible emotions I experienced while reading that book.
What is your writing process like?
It really depends upon the book and the characters. If they’re talking to me and/or I have a general idea for the plot, I can write rather quickly. If they’re not talking, then I write in short spurts, between five to fifteen minutes at a time. I’m not a plotter so my brain is constantly trying to fill in gaps and run down avenues looking for the right direction for the storyline.
Why do you write?
I love getting lost in my imagination. Hearing snippets of conversation in my head and wondering where they’re coming from, who said them and why, has entertained me for years. When I started writing, I don’t think I consciously planned to share those stories with other people. The stories were mine to discover and create. After I finished my first manuscript, I gave it to my oldest sister to read. She loved it. Now, admittedly, she is my sister and wasn’t exactly unbiased. However, learning that she stayed up all night reading my book made me wonder. Were there others who might want to read my work, too? From there, it became an obsession to get my stories in front of readers.
But why do you write ‘those’ kinds of books?
Hmm. You mean the ones where flawed, multi-layered characters fall in love? The ones that promote committed relationships and monogamy? The ones that show that through strength and courage, a person can overcome adversity? The ones where two mature individuals share a beautiful and satisfying physical relationship that deepens and enhances their commitment to each other? Or do you mean the ones that give you a smile of contentment and lift your spirits? If those are the kinds of books you’re talking about, then my answer is simple: Because they make me happy and they make other people happy, too.